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Identity but not expression memory for unfamiliar faces is affected by ageing

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We examined age-related differences in memory for identity and emotional expression of unfamiliar faces. Younger and older adults were presented with happy and angry faces and were later asked to recognise the same faces displaying a neutral expression. When a face was recognised, they also had to remember what the initial expression of the face had been. In addition, states of awareness associated with both identity and expression memory were assessed with the remember/know/guess paradigm. Older adults showed less recollective experience than younger adults for identity but not for emotional expressions of the faces. This evidence indicates that age-related differences in memory may depend on the nature of the to-be-remembered information, with emotional/social information being remembered as well in older as in younger adults.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Liège, Belgium 2: University of Geneva, Switzerland, and University of Liège, Belgium

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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